Homenews

14 Republican tweets about health care that are very awkward now

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These tweets are receipts.

Senate Republicans plan to vote on their secret bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) next week. On Monday evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) signaled that the bill — which is reportedly shaping up to cost more than 20 million Americans their health insurance while cutting taxes for the wealthy — will be subject to as little public scrutiny as possible before the Republican majority forces a vote on it.

There hasn’t been a single public hearing on the plan to reshape one-sixth of the American economy — a plan being drafted behind closed doors by Republicans. This creates an awkward dynamic for Republicans who asserted back in 2009 and 2010 that months of open congressional hearings and floor debate about the ACA weren’t enough.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is among the Republican senators pushing for a speedy health care vote and untroubled by the process his caucus is using to get there. He felt very differently back in 2010, however.

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So did then-U.S. representative Mike Pence, who as vice president could cast the tiebreaking vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), otherwise known as Trumpcare.

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Back in 2009, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said it was essential for Americans to “watch” the public committee hearings, noting that it affects one-sixth of the American economy and is a “Big lift” for Congress.

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But last week, Grassley signaled he’s prepared to vote for the AHCA without a single public hearing being held about it.

It’s unclear whether Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will vote for the AHCA, though he left the door open to doing so during an interview with Vox last week. In 2009, however, McCain characterized passing a health care bill without giving people a chance to read it as a “disgrace.”

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McConnell, now working to rush a vote on the AHCA with as little public scrutiny as possible, took a very different line back in 2009 — as did the Twitter account for Senate Republicans.

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The House Republicans Twitter echoed his talking point.

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So did a number of House Republicans who spoke out about the need for transparency then, but are silent about Senate Republicans’ total secrecy about the AHCA now.

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Back in 2010, then-congressman Tom Price decried secrecy and urged more transparency surrounding the ACA.

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But as Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Price has been speaking out in favor of the AHCA, while acknowledging he hasn’t even read the bill.

He’s not the only Trump administration official who bashed a closed-door approach to health care negotiations back in the day. Consider this tweet from Linda McMahon, who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate before becoming Trump’s Small Business Administration administrator.

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Confronted with their old tweets and statements, Republicans have no answers. As recently as March, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted the fact that House Republicans weren’t making an early version of the AHCA available for public review.

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But with an opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare quickly approaching, Paul is now playing the false equivalency game.

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During a CNN interview Tuesday morning, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) was asked to respond to Cornyn’s 2010 tweet about the people having “a right to know what is happening behind closed doors with secret HC negotiations.” He could do little more than acknowledge that times have changed.

“Would you at least grant there’s a touch of irony?” a CNN anchor asked him.

“No question about it, I think there is,” Rounds said with a smile.

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The word Rounds was looking for, however, isn’t irony — it’s “hypocrisy.”

h/t — Parker Malloy


14 Republican tweets about health care that are very awkward now was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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